Ozone depleting substances can cause serious damage. They deplete the ozone layer and reduce the protection of all living beings from ultraviolet rays which can penetrate through the ozone hole and reach the surface of the Earth.
The most harmful substances destroying the ozone layer are chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which do not exist in nature and are produced by man. CFC molecules can thus be found in car seats, air-conditioning devices, refrigerators, nail polishes, hair sprays, insecticides, cleansing agents, isolation materials, packaging and similar products. The legislation governing this field is therefore primarily aimed at phasing out the production and the use of CFCs, products and equipment containing or relying on the ODS substances. The above mentioned substances should be replaced by other compounds which are dissolved in lower layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, do not contain chlorine or bromine atoms, and, consequently, do not react to stratospheric ozone.
The international trade in ozone depleting substances, products and equipment containing or relying on the ODS substances is allowed, but strictly controlled. Consequently, the import and the export of CFCs can be carried out only on the basis of licences granted by the European Commission.
Customs authorities control the ozone depleting substances, the products and the equipment other than personal effects containing or relying on the ODS substances. Controls are carried out upon entry from and exit into the customs territory of the European Union. When performing controls, it is checked in the database kept by the European Commission whether a licence was issued for a specific consignment.
All additional information on how to obtain a licence and on the role of customs authorities in checking these licences is available on the website of European Commission.